9. April 2020 | Press releases:

When the Battery Runs Out Diagnosis line for the investigation of battery aging mechanisms planned

A battery diagnosis line is being built at the Battery LabFactory Braunschweig (BLB). This new laboratory unit will investigate how battery cells age and how they remain functional for longer. With the data obtained, scientists will be able to specifically adapt battery cell production and directly link newly developed production processes and materials to ageing. The project is funded with 500,000 euros from the European Regional Development Fund. BLB is a research centre of the Technische Universität Braunschweig in the Core Research Area Mobility.

The diagnostic line extends the established infrastructure of the Battery LabFactory Braunschweig. It enables reproducible, systematic aging analysis, since the structures and data of the electrodes and cells produced there are precisely known. Thus, the quality of production parameters can be related to the cell application, i.e. the type of stress during use. The Braunschweig researchers thus gain a detailed understanding of the mechanisms and processes leading to the ageing of batteries and eventually to the end of battery life.

This will enable existing production processes and cell configurations to be optimised, new materials to be developed and models for ageing simulations to be created from which life cycle predictions and usage profiles can be derived. In future, this will make it easier to produce electrode structures and cells tailored to the application and to understand the influence of the materials in detail.

For the diagnostic line at BLB, so-called gloveboxes, which are hermetically and gas-tightly sealed from the workspace, will be set up in a coherent system and equipped with measuring instruments. The gas tightness of the system is necessary since the active materials of the individual battery components react with air.

First of all, the cells are exposed to certain operating scenarios and environmental pollution – in order to specifically simulate their use. Once the batteries have been opened, the researchers investigate changes to electrodes, electrolyte and separators in physical-electrochemical analyses. This involves climatic, mechanical, chemical, electrical and electrochemical influences. In order to track down the ageing mechanisms even more precisely, “aged” and new components and materials can be reassembled, i.e. reassembled, into new cells.

Project data:

The construction of the diagnosis line is funded by the Regional Structural Fund of the European Union (ERDF) with 500,000 euros for the project period from 1 October 2019 to 31 October 2021.